A good friend, a soul friend, is a precious gift from God. From the beginning, God knew that it wasn’t good for us to be alone. He immediately saw that Adam was alone and created Eve.
But He also knew that our spouses can’t be everything for us. His Word tells us:
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
Friends help us get through the hard parts of our story. And Godly friends keep us accountable, pray for us, give us Godly advice, make us better people, and draw us closer to Christ.
In my life, I have been blessed with amazing Godly friends. And I love how God has brought me friends at exactly the time I needed them.
When I went through years of infertility that began in my twenties, it was a lonely road. My four sisters had babies with minimal problems, and my friends were popping out little bundles of joy right and left. I tried to be real and share my struggles with them; but honestly, sometimes their words cut like a knife. Not that any of them meant to hurt me, but the advice I got so often to “just relax and it will happen” really wasn’t comforting. At all.
I needed someone who understood, really understood, the pain that I desperately tried to hide and keep buried deep inside as I went to baby shower after baby shower.
And then one day, there she was. I went to a gathering at a friend’s house, and Sandy was sitting on the couch, recovering from a recent surgery related to infertility. I sat down beside this woman I didn’t know from a hill of beans, and we instantly bonded as she shared her journey. She gave life to this verse from Romans:
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Romans 12:15 (NIV)
Finally, someone who understood. Someone who didn’t give me flippant advice. Someone who could carry my burden, and I could carry hers in return.
There’s a special bond that happens when you come alongside someone who is carrying the same pain as you are. They can relate in ways people who haven’t experienced it simply can’t. It’s how God planned it all along because God created us to live in this beautiful place called community.
And then there’s Laura. We met in a very random way, with me stealing her husband’s bag in the Chicago airport (it wasn’t on purpose, I swear!) and then at a John Maxwell event in Florida the very next month.
She had just dipped her toe into ministry and felt unprepared in so many ways, and I felt like I was drowning after doing ministry by myself for so many years. I had been praying and begging God to bring me a team or just one person to work with. Being an extreme extrovert, spending my days working alone in my house was getting more and more suffocating.
As we sat in a local coffee shop for our first “official” meeting, there was an instant bond as we started dreaming of what we could do together. Ideas flowed easily, dreams quickly took shape, and Choose was born.
And a soul friendship was begun! One I am eternally grateful for.
I know how truly blessed I am to have Laura and Sandy as sweet Sisters in Christ, soul friends.
But I ask you, how are you sitting in the friendship department? Do you have a Sister in Christ, someone who helps carry your burdens, someone who brings you closer to God?
Friendships aren’t always easy, they sometimes ebb and flow as we enter new seasons in life. And here’s the truth, they take time and energy! We have to invest in them in order to make them grow.
If you’re lacking in the friend department, I want to leave you with a few questions to ask yourself with an honest, open heart:
1. When is the last time I have initiated contact with a friend I feel distant from?
2. Have I been willing to share the burden of a close friend, or have I stayed away because of not knowing what to do or say?
3. When someone has shown love and friendship to me, have I been a good friend in return?
4. Am I open to new friendships and the possibility of God bringing the exact person I need into my life? Or have I kept my heart closed and shut down?
Friendship, like anything, is a choice. In order to have the kind of friendships that we desire, we have to choose to carry each other’s burdens and rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.
And if you have a soul friend right now, don’t ever let her go! She's a precious gift from God!
Love and hugs,